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Boston Salads Recall for Listeria Contamination

Posted in Public Health

Due to a possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, Boston Salads and Provisions Company is recalling 222,959 pounds of ready to eat chicken salad products.  As reported by FoodSafetyNews.com, the contaminaited chcken salad prodcuts in question were made August 23rd, 2013 to October 14th, 2013 and were shipped to wholesalers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Despite the fact that some of the products included in this recall may be expired, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safetey and Inspection Service is worried that some of these products may have made their way to retail or consumer freezers.  If that is the case, containing the contamination will prove to be more challenging.

Infection with listeria, or Listeriosis is with antibiotics and any high risk person who has flu-like symptoms after eating contaminated food should contact healthcare providers or emergency medical services.  Some common signs of Listeriosis are loss of balance, convulsions,fever, muscle aches, and confusion.  The infection caused by listeria monocytogenes can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, and premature delivery of the baby.  Older adults or people with a weakened immune system are at a higher risk of listeriosis, an infection caused by listeria monocytogenes.  Pregnant women and their babies are also more likely to be infected than people with normal immune system strength.

The New Hampshire Department of Public Healh first discovered the contamination when two samples that had not been in contact both tested positive for listeria.  Once the New Hampshire Department of Public Health had become aware of the problem, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health was contacted, and intact samples of the product were tested.

After this evaluation found two samples that tested positive for listeria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safetey and Inspection Service was contacted.  As of yet, no details have been made public but further investigation may have identified a source of the contamination.  Federal and state public health partners such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the New Hampshire/Massachusetts health departments have been closley working together on the investigation.

Thankfully, to-date there have not been any reports of illnesses from the contaminated products.